I was faced with a choice, at a difficult age. Would I write a book, or should I take to the stage

Thursday, February 5

Whine list update

I have a few new complaints to whinney out electrically ("Oh good." - Fop's few bored readers). These are:

1. The Janet nipple SAGA.

WHY is a woman considered topless only if her nipple is revealed. Why, this seems so terribly arbitrary! She can show all the rest of the breast as she sees fit and remain decent for any awards-night do, but the minute a peek of darker skin is on show, then it is suddenly so grossly indecent so as to require a Federal Communications Commission enquiry. In addition, as my friend Gil was braying to me just the other day, I'd make the point that it's hilarious that this incident is seen as somehow debasing American football itself - as though that sport was ordinarily so classy, restrained and debonair. Can we not move along then. Or "edit", as Janet herself would no doubt put it.

2. Mark Latham, the SDA and the gays

This piece amply demonstrates that despite the ALP's recent grandstanding about its commitment to extending all privileges enjoyed by Australian married couples to those in committed same-sex relationships, that any such pledge requires only a hint of disapproval from the right-wing and Catholic based Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Union to be "shelved".

Now, I have no doubt that Latham is more supportive of the notion of gays having some basic rights than Howard will ever be. However, it is evident that within the ALP, the right are running things. The Catholic right, no less. Marvellous. I was actually a member of the SDA for a good while when I worked in a supermarket, and now that I think of it, I do remember them pursuing lots of ostensibly "family-friendly" agendas like trying to ban shops from opening on public holidays and Sundays so that members could spend "time with their children" and similar. This seemed sort of stupid at the time, as I rather liked to work on Sundays and public holidays and get paid preposterous penalty rates for my troubles, and I had no intention of going to see the family for a big Sunday roast whether I would be rostered to work or not. Thinking about it now, it's easier to understand the agenda of the SDA as supporting the predominance of the nuclear family via an active pursuit of policies that are geared to help members who choose to set up such a structure (and let's be clear - it's a choice to be part of or set up a nuclear family. A socially constructed choice, sure - but still a choice - and one that is no more or less valid than any other potential permutation of "family"), rather than any real representation of all its members without fear or favour, regardless of their family circumstances. So I can make sense of the SDA's successful railroading of the ALP's future same-sex rights policies as a rather more extreme example of the same sort of self-serving Catholic ideology that informed its work during my Safeway years.

The thing is, though, that I don't begrudge the ALP money. I know it needs political donations to get itself into an electable position, and I know that lots of that money comes from unions. It would just be better if the money wasn't coming from a right-wing freaking Catholic union that makes alarmist references to "gay marriage" to harness irrational public prejudices for furtherance of its own 1950s-esque sociopolitical agenda. Which sounds a bit too much like someone else, don't you think.

HOWEVER. Despite Latham's similarities to Howard on this and so many other points of policy, I am so desperate to be rid of Howard that I can probably overlook this in the hope that the Greens will agitate successfully for same-sex law reform from the Senate, if the ALP win the election. Plus I would rather have a Prime Minister representing a party whose fringes are greenies and socialists, rather than one whose fringes are toffs, racists, rednecks and gun nuts.

Yes I would.

3. Big fat judge struggles to make sense of facts (again)

Fop's very favourite N-PIC (No Poofs In our Court) member of the High Court of Australia, the porcine Ian Callinan has sought to refer to the removal of asylum-seeker children in stuck in detention centres as creating "stolen children". ("In another context it might be said they were stolen children, taken from their parents.") Apparently, then, "stolen" and "imprisoned" are the only two options available for such children. What a lot of terrible judging! Also I'd hasten to add that Ian Callinan is hardly someone who I'd expect to see jumping up and down about the rights of the stolen generations, as he appears to be cut more of the Andrew Bolt-style cloth of "Stolen them? Rubbish, we good Christians were HELPING them! The stupid, primitive natives! They're actually quite beastly when you get down to it! And hardly any died, it's just historians lying all the time and making up numbers! Goodbye."

Justice Callinan also writes mystery novels! One of them is this:

It didn't sell very well! For three good reasons*!

1. He's a dickhead.
2. The book is shit.
3. He's a dickhead and the book is shit.

* with apologies to


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